Boil and Bubble: Old Skool Delving Incantations I

It’s been a while since I pumped out the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy book I cowrite with +Antoni Ten Monrós. I was looking over some of my old Advanced Dungeons and Dragons books and I got to thinking – how could I do this in GURPS using my system? So here are a few old school spells translated into Incantation Magic spells. (For those curious what spell is based on what I included it in parentheticals.)

Decoy (Leomund’s Trap)
Spell Effects: Create Elementalism + Create Mesmerism.
Inherent Modifiers: Bestows a Bonus, Rolls to detect the “trap.”
Skill Penalty: The lower of Path of Elementalism‑1 or Path of Mesmerism‑4.
Casting Time: 30 minutes.

This spell creates an illusory decoy trap of any type the caster wishes (make an IQ roll or Traps roll at +5 to create a believable trap; success grants a +1 to your roll in the Quick Contest to see if your target resists, failure gives a -1, critical failure gives a -2, and critical success gives a +2)

Once the trap is detected (roll against the better of the subject’s Perception or Per-based Traps at +5) it will be utterly believable unless the target can succeed on an opposed Perception or Per-based Traps roll vs. your effective skill. Actually setting off the trap doesn’t do any damage, but it might cause a Fright Check at the GM’s option.
Typical Casting: Create Elementalism (6) + Create Mesmerism (6) + Bestows a Bonus, +5 to rolls to detect the “trap” (16) + Duration, 1 day (11). Notes: Resisting with just Perception counts as an additional effect increasing the casting time by a single step. 39 SP.
Lesser Mystical Immunity (Minor Globe of Invulnerability)
Spell Effects: Transform Arcanum.
Inherent Modifiers: Altered Traits, Mana Damper.
Skill Penalty: Path of Arcanum‑9.
Casting Time: 30 minutes.

This spell treats the mana level within 1 yard of the caster (essentially, his hex on a tactical map) as no mana zone (even in high mana, but not a a very high mana zone which results in a “mere” -5 to casting rolls) for Incantation spells with a skill penalty of -5 or lower or normal magic spells with an FP cost of 11 or less (but before reducing it due to high skill). This lasts for 5d seconds after which the spell ends.

Typical Casting: Transform Arcanum (8) + Altered Traits, Mana Damper 3 (Accessibility, Not against spells with a skill penalty of -6 or higher, -20%; Area Effect, 1 yard, +50%; Improved, +150%) (84) + Duration, 30 seconds (2). 94 SP.
Reaper’s Revenge (Death Spell)
Spell Effects: Control Necromancy x2.
Inherent Modifiers: Altered Traits, Fragile (Instant Death) + Area of Effect + Damage, Toxic (All or Nothing; Cosmic, Affects non-living animate beings).
Skill Penalty: Path of Necromancy‑19.
Casting Time: 10 minutes.

This spell allows the caster to instantly slay up to 1d HP 10 living and/or animate non-undead creatures withing 5 yards of the any area you designate up to 100 yards away. You may exclude up to 4 targets of your choice. You may opt to combine these HP in increments of 10 if you wish (e.g., you rolled 5 targets and want to kill a single HP 10 target and two HP 20 targets).

Typical Casting: Control Necromancy (5) + Control Necromancy (5) + Altered Traits, Fragile (Instant Death) (20) + Area of Effect, 5 yards, excludes 4 subjects (54) + Damage, 20d Direct Toxic (All or Nothing, -10%; Cosmic, Affects non-living beings, +50%) (107) + Subject Weight, 1,000 lbs. (4). Notes: Being able to spread the dice of damage out to multiple subjects is a considered a feature with an area spell whose width is equal to the max dice of damage spread out thusly. 195 SP.

Picking Over the Bones
While I may be the co-author of Incantation Magic (and basically I modified the base system from PK’s notes so I know the ins and outs) it still makes me delightfully happy to just be able to pick up an old book from my halcyon days of youthful gaming and be able to make spells from there that work nearly the same in my current system of choice.
I’ve got a couple more installments of this type coming up (thus the “part 1” at the top) but if anyone has a cool spell from the old days they want to see converted – now is the time. I’m currently on staycacation as of this post and this has been scheduled to be posted.
Posted in Boil and Bubble and tagged , , , .


  1. 2 questions about Reaper's revenge.
    1)skill penalty says lower of path of Necro.
    Q:Necro or what?
    2) description says: "up to 1d HP 10 living… creatures"
    What's that mean? is that supposed to be 1d 10HP creatures?
    or is it supposed to be 1d*10 HP of creatures?

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